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First Apple Watch Update Patches Security Holes

At Tom's Guide, our constant refrain is "keep your devices up to date." There's nothing glamorous about security patches, but they do keep your expensive device safe from hijacking, malware and other electronic hazards. The Apple Watch recently received its first major update, and patching security flaws made up a big part of it.

Apple detailed the Apple Watch's security fixes on its support website, which come as a part of the device's Watch OS 1.0.1 update. There are 14 vulnerability fixes in total. More than half of them affected the Apple Watch's kernel, the deepest level of its operating system.

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Check out Apple's website if you want a full breakdown of each potential flaw, but the vulnerabilities run the full gamut of security mishaps. One kernel flaw allows a malefactor to redirect traffic to harmful websites, while a FontParser flaw could let an attacker run malicious code through an otherwise-unassuming font file.

The update has some proactive features as well, including support for seven new languages — Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Thai, Dutch, Swedish and Danish — plus the ability to communicate in emoji. Your watch should update automatically, but if it doesn't, you can install the software manually by accessing the Apple Watch's settings and selecting Software Update.

Interestingly, two of the Apple Watch's biggest security flaws are, as yet, unpatched. Tom's Guide reported on two major vulnerabilities for the smartwatch: one that allows thieves to reset it without a password, and one that lets them use Apple Pay. It's possible that these issues surfaced too close to the patch's release date, and that Apple might take care of them in the next update.

In the meantime, if you have an Apple Watch, update the software as soon as possible. There probably aren't many hijackers targeting the devices just yet, but remember: If a device has an operating system, it can be hacked, and if it can be hacked, it can come back to bite you.

Marshall Honorof is a senior writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at Follow him @marshallhonorof. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.